Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS7796396 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 10/143,649
Publication dateSep 14, 2010
Filing dateMay 10, 2002
Priority dateMay 10, 2002
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20030214790
Publication number10143649, 143649, US 7796396 B2, US 7796396B2, US-B2-7796396, US7796396 B2, US7796396B2
InventorsGeorge E. Hanson
Original AssigneeLsi Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Integrated CRU latch
US 7796396 B2
Abstract
A latch for retaining moving parts on an enclosure service module (ESM) is provided. This latch comprises a retaining groove in the latch that holds a self-clinching standoff fastener attached to the ESM. A return spring is contained within a molded cavity in the latch, and an alignment groove in the latch is placed at one end of the return spring. The alignment groove guides an alignment pin on the ESM into a secure position, and the return spring applies pressure against the pin while the pin is in the alignment groove.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(16)
1. A latch for retaining moving parts on an enclosure service module (ESM), the latch comprising:
a retaining groove that holds a fastening pin of the ESM;
a return spring within a molded cavity in the latch; and
an alignment groove placed at and extending away from one end of the return spring, wherein the alignment groove guides opposing sides of an alignment pin of the ESM into a secure position within the alignment groove as the latch is being attached to the ESM, and wherein the return spring applies pressure against the alignment pin while the alignment pin is in the alignment groove, wherein the ESM has a plurality of electronic components contained therein and wherein the latch is operable for retaining the moving parts on the ESM, wherein the fastening pin of the ESM is a self-clinching standoff fastener, and wherein the latch holds insertion/extraction levers of the ESM in a folded and locked position when the latch is clinched to the fastening pin of the ESM.
2. The latch according to claim 1, wherein the latch is molded from plastic resin.
3. The latch according to claim 2, wherein the latch is molded from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.
4. The latch according to claim 2, wherein the latch is molded from Lexan.
5. The latch according to claim 2, wherein the latch is molded from an alloy of multiple plastic resins.
6. The latch according to claim 1, wherein the side opposite the molded cavity is textured to provide a non-slip grip.
7. The latch according to claim 1, wherein the latch holds insertion/extraction levers of the ESM in a folded and locked position when the ESM is installed in a data storage system.
8. A latch for retaining moving parts on an enclosure service module (ESM), the latch comprising:
a retaining groove that holds a fastening pin of the ESM; and
a return spring within a molded cavity in the latch, wherein the return spring is attached to the latch at one end, and wherein the other end of the return spring (i) captures an alignment pin of the ESM and (ii) aligns the alignment pin in a secure position by applying pressure against the alignment pin as the latch is being attached to the ESM, wherein the ESM has a plurality of electronic components contained therein and wherein the latch is operable for retaining the moving parts on the ESM, wherein the fastening pin of the ESM is a self-clinching standoff fastener, and wherein the latch holds insertion/extraction levers of the ESM in a folded and locked position when the latch is clinched to the fastening pin of the ESM.
9. The latch according to claim 8, wherein the latch is molded from plastic resin.
10. The latch according to claim 9, wherein the latch is molded from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.
11. The latch according to claim 9, wherein the latch is molded from Lexan.
12. The latch according to claim 9, wherein the latch is molded from an alloy of multiple plastic resins.
13. The latch according to claim 8, wherein the side opposite the molded cavity is textured to provide a non-slip grip.
14. The latch according to claim 8, wherein the return spring is molded from nylon.
15. The latch according to claim 8, wherein the return spring is molded from polypropylene.
16. The latch according to claim 8, wherein the latch holds insertion/extraction levers of the ESM in a folded and locked position when the ESM is installed in a data storage system.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention is directed toward an apparatus for securing insertion/extraction levers on modular computer components.

2. Description of the Related Art

Controller modules and drive trays are modular computer components that are usually connected together in a customer-specified configuration to produce storage systems. Controller modules function as the interface between a host system and the drive tray array. The drive trays use enclosure service modules (ESMs) as the interconnection to the drives contained within a drive tray. The ESMs also perform diagnostic monitor functions for the drive array.

ESM may take the form of customer replaceable units (CRUs), which make up subsystems within a storage system. This provides the customer with more freedom and direct control over the configuration and maintenance of the subsystems. The CRUs contain insertion/extraction levers that are used to install and remove CRUs from a storage system chassis. When these levers are not being used for insertion or extraction, they must be kept firmly folded and retained in place with a latch.

Current approaches to this problem have not been successful. Previous designs were either not substantial or durable enough to do the job, functioned poorly due to their complex nature, or interfered with other structures and features on the face of the Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU). One such unit used a long lever arm that prevented an acceptable label set from being added to the face of the CRU. One unit used a pivoting metal structure that required many components and made it necessary for the user to manipulate the latch with unnatural combinations of rotating and pulling motions. Several designs used perforations through the face of the CRU that allowed the escape of radiated electrical noise. However, none of these previous designs was able to meet the necessary requirements.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a mechanism for securing the insertion/extraction levers of a CRU that is durable, does not interfere with the structures of the CRU, and is not overly complex.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a latch for retaining moving parts on an enclosure service module (ESM). This latch comprises a retaining groove in the latch that holds a self-clinching standoff fastener attached to the ESM. A return spring is contained within a molded cavity in the latch, and an alignment groove in the latch is placed at one end of the return spring. The alignment groove guides an alignment pin on the ESM into a secure position, and the return spring applies pressure against the pin while the pin is in the alignment groove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 depicts a front view pictorial diagram illustrating a Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU) with a CRU latch in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view pictorial diagram illustrating a CRU with an extended insertion/extraction lever in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a front view pictorial diagram illustrating a CRU latch in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a rear view pictorial diagram illustrating a CRU latch in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 depicts a pictorial diagram illustrating the relationship between the latch and the mounting points on a CRU is depicted in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 6 depicts a front view pictorial diagram illustrating the latch attached to the CRU in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention the practical application to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

With reference now to the figures and in particular with reference to FIG. 1, a front view pictorial diagram illustrating a Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU) with a CRU latch is depicted in accordance with the present invention. The CRU 100 is depicted with its insertion/extraction levers 101 and 102 folded in and locked in place by the latch 110. The latch 110 keeps the levers 101 and 102 locked in this folded position while the CRU 100 is installed in a storage system, or when the CRU 100 is not in use and is being stored.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a perspective view pictorial diagram illustrating CRU 100 with an extended insertion/extraction lever 101 is depicted in accordance with the present invention. When the CRU 100 has to be installed or extracted from a storage unit, the levers 101 and 102 are extended and used as handles by service personnel to move the CRU 100 into and out of position. Although the latch 110 is pictured attached to the CRU 100 in FIG. 2 for purposes of illustration, it would normally be removed when the lever 101 is unfolded.

Referring to FIG. 3, a front view pictorial diagram illustrating a CRU latch is depicted in accordance with the present invention. The latch 300 is molded from an engineering plastic resin such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) or Lexan or an alloy of both. As can be seen, the front surface is textured and contoured to provide a non-slip grip and to be easy to use. The latch 300 is also designed for visual and functional clarity. The latch 300 uses integral guidance and requires no perforations of the CRU wall upon which is mounted, which maintains a barrier to radiated emissions that would otherwise emanate from such openings.

Referring to FIG. 4, a rear view pictorial diagram illustrating a CRU latch is depicted in accordance with the present invention. The present invention is easy to use and has a compact design using a return spring and a pressed-in pin on the CRU for guidance. The return spring 301 is trapped within the body of the latch 300. An alignment track 302 molded into the latch 300 beneath the return spring 301 functions as a track for the pin pressed into the metal body of the CRU (as described below).

Referring to FIG. 5, a pictorial diagram illustrating the relationship between the latch and the mounting points on a CRU is depicted in accordance with the present invention. Installation of the latch 300 on the CRU 500 is simple. The alignment pin 501 on the CRU 500 is guided into the alignment track 302 below the return spring 301. The alignment pin 501 also does “double duty” by compressing the return spring 301, resulting in a very crisp and positive feeling latch operation. When not actuated, the latch return spring 301 is essentially unloaded, except for the retention force that it exerts against the latch cavity. Because the alignment track 302 for the press-in alignment pin 501 is located beneath the return spring 301, this takes advantage of the difference between the depth of that cavity and the overall molded height of the latch 300. This design conserves space in that it does not require separate areas to be devoted to both functions, which is a significant improvement over previous designs.

The latch 300 is retained to the CRU 500 via another piece of pressed-in hardware that fits into a retaining groove 303 in the latch 300. This retaining hardware is, e.g., a PEM self-clinching standoff fastener 502. The plastic latch 300 is sized and designed to be retained by a single screw driven into the self-clinching fastener 502. The extended length of retaining groove 303 provides relief around the screw head and near the top of the self-clinching fastener 502, which allows for motion while not retaining the latch 300 too tightly.

FIG. 6 depicts a front view of the latch 300 attached to the CRU 500. This view clearly illustrates how the self-clinching fastener 502 retains the latch 300, while still having the relief space described above.

An alternate embodiment of the present invention uses a plastic spring that is integral with the latch body. One end of the spring is attached internally to the latch. The other end captures the alignment pin on the CRU. This accordion-pleated spring compresses on actuation and then restores itself to its unactuated position via forces stored in the plastic spring. The nature of such springs suggests that an alternate material would be more appropriate for such a design. This type of spring is best made with tough materials such as nylons and polypropylene. There may also be a tendency for engineering plastics such as ABS or Lexan to crack under repeated loading. This integral spring is designed to completely surround the alignment pin and fully capture it, which results in forced positional consistency. The interference of the periphery of the spring and sides of the cavity provides the alignment. Spring radii are designed to be generous and to thus limit build-up stresses during operation.

The description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description, and is not intended to be exhaustive or limited to the invention in the form disclosed. Many modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention, the practical application, and to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3575482 *Jun 5, 1969Apr 20, 1971Rex Chainbelt IncSelf-adjusting positive locking chassis latch
US4553353 *Apr 20, 1984Nov 19, 1985Ashland Products CompanyLatch for pivotal sash window
US4669765 *Oct 14, 1986Jun 2, 1987Kessler Products Company, Inc.Lockable latch for tiltable double hung windows
US4901475 *Jul 28, 1988Feb 20, 1990Ashland Products CompanyExternally mounted latch for slidable sash window
US5139291 *Oct 29, 1991Aug 18, 1992Ashland Products, Inc.Flush mount tilt-latch for a sash window and method
US5465191 *Oct 7, 1993Nov 7, 1995International Business Machines CorporationSingle hand operable latch mechanism for hinged container
US5483419 *Nov 15, 1993Jan 9, 1996Teac CorporationHot-swappable multi-cartridge docking module
US5669639 *May 9, 1996Sep 23, 1997Lawrence; Barry G.Window latch mechanism
US5671958 *Jun 28, 1996Sep 30, 1997Szapucki; Matthew PeterSnap on latch mechanism for a sash window
US5767445 *Nov 7, 1995Jun 16, 1998Wu; Ching HsiuDrawer type hard diskdrive box assembly
US5793614 *Oct 17, 1997Aug 11, 1998Tektronix, Inc.Injector/ejector for electronic module housing
US5959834 *Aug 25, 1997Sep 28, 1999Chang; Cheng-ChunDiskdrive sliding case system with lock and power switch
US5970656 *Sep 14, 1998Oct 26, 1999Ro-Mai Industries, Inc.Housing assembly with beveled retainers for installation in a window frame
US6067225 *Aug 4, 1997May 23, 2000Sun Microsystems, Inc.Disk drive bracket
US6088221 *Jun 15, 1998Jul 11, 2000Compaq Computer CorporationHot-pluggable disk drive carrier assembly with no loose parts
US6115239 *Jun 3, 1998Sep 5, 2000Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Locking mechanism for portable computer
US6178086 *Apr 13, 1999Jan 23, 2001Dell Usa, L.P.Apparatus and method for securing a removable component in a computer system
US6288902 *May 25, 1999Sep 11, 2001Hewlett-Packard CompanyModular data storage system for reducing mechanical shock and vibrations
US6356441 *Apr 18, 2000Mar 12, 2002Emc CorporationDisk drive assembly with improved securing and releasing mechanism
US6359778 *Sep 12, 2000Mar 19, 2002Wen-Kao WuRemovable-type hard disk drive bi-directional ingress and egress structure
US6378965 *Jan 24, 2000Apr 30, 2002Sun Microsystems, Inc.Disk drive bracket
US6392874 *Nov 17, 2000May 21, 2002Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Computer casing with internal fastener
US6498723 *May 31, 2000Dec 24, 2002Storage Technology CorporationDisk drive array system
US6515855 *Aug 3, 2000Feb 4, 2003Inventec CorporationDetachable data storage device for computer
US6565163 *Dec 27, 2000May 20, 2003Inclose Design, Inc.Rack for memory storage devices
US6798650 *Dec 12, 2001Sep 28, 2004Sun Microsystems, Inc.Disk drive bracket
US6874826 *Nov 14, 2000Apr 5, 2005Ashland Products, Inc.Actuator for a tilt-latch for a sash window
US6912124 *Mar 11, 2002Jun 28, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Lever system for moving a component within a chassis
US6935661 *Nov 21, 2000Aug 30, 2005Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Access panel latching system
US7082036 *Feb 25, 2005Jul 25, 2006Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Bezel mounting assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8027158 *Jan 20, 2009Sep 27, 2011Compal Electronics, Inc.Snap relieving device and electronic apparatus with the snap relieving device
US20110068587 *Sep 23, 2009Mar 24, 2011Apple Inc.Integrated latch
US20130058047 *Apr 17, 2012Mar 7, 2013Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Bezel assembly for electronic device
Classifications
U.S. Classification361/726, 211/26, 292/137, 292/163, 312/223.2, 361/679.58, 292/175, 292/150, 292/146, 361/727
International ClassificationE05C1/10, E05B65/00, E05B15/16, G06F1/16, E05C1/02, E05C1/04, G06F1/18, E05C1/08, H05K7/16, E05B15/04, A47B81/00, A47F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B2015/0472, E05C1/10, G06F1/18, E05B65/006, E05B2015/165
European ClassificationE05C1/10, G06F1/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 14, 2014FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jul 27, 2011ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LSI CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:026656/0659
Effective date: 20110506
Owner name: NETAPP, INC., CALIFORNIA
Feb 19, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: LSI CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:020548/0977
Effective date: 20070404
Owner name: LSI CORPORATION,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100209;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100216;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100223;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100225;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100302;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100309;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100323;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100329;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100330;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100420;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100504;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100518;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LSI SUBSIDIARY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:20548/977
May 10, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: LSI LOGIC CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HANSON, GEORGE E.;REEL/FRAME:012900/0597
Effective date: 20020419